Yoga can be applied to most all people and the age and condition of those people.
The health benefits of yoga for kids are many, and kids yoga classes are many and profuse because of that. I just returned from a middle school tour for my oldest child, and the principal was telling me how all the kids start the day with a yoga class. I said to her I thought that was a great idea, not only for the kids’ bodies but also for their minds. Physically speaking, yoga can be a dynamic exercise, balancing off a day of sitting behind a school desk. Yet this is just the beginning of the benefits of yoga for kids. Yoga is such a well-rounded and dynamic exercise that it gives the kids a way to fully exploit their physicality with poses and sequences that challenge strength, stamina, cardio as well as balance, coordination and flexibility. Allowing the child to evolve in school as equally physically as mentally. Also giving the kids a chance to burn off some of that tremendous kid energy, allowing them to sit more still in the classroom, especially when you combine that with the stretching which releases the physical tension, contributing to more stillness and better focus.
More kids yoga benefits include the mental calm and focus achieved through breathing exercises, which along with the stretching relax the children and help them be more present. She said all this was very important as to help the child get the most from the school experience. Yet, she said to me the biggest reason for the morning yoga program was to teach the kids relaxation techniques that calm and center them.
She explained the high level of anxiety many children experience and how that affects their ability to learn. So getting them to relax is very important, but even more important is teaching them what to do when they feel emotional or overwhelmed or anxious. Teaching the kids to come back to their breath to calm down and center themselves. Teaching them to start noticing (mindfulness) when they are becoming upset or frustrated or anxious and applying breathing and mindfulness techniques to calm and center them.
All of this can be taught to children by a talented and qualified yoga instructor. All of this can be taught and applied to any age group, you just need to adjust the methods according to the audience. Kids yoga has been around for a while now and there are some hugely talented instructors like our instructor on poweryoga.com.
I am sure I am just scratching the surface here in this blog, as I have been a kid who practiced yoga (a long time ago) and remember some of these benefits, but I am not a qualified kids yoga instructor and as I said, I’m probably not even scratching the surface of the benefits of kids yoga. Yet let me say, the things I learned as a kid practicing yoga helped me in many situations in my life and throughout my life and mostly outside of school.
One thing is for sure, because of the health benefits of yoga for kids, kids yoga classes are prolific and many, many schools are incorporating yoga into their curriculum, as well as many local yoga studios and online studios offer kids yoga tailored to almost every age group.
Interested in learning more about the benefits of yoga? Check out my article, What Are the Benefits of Power Yoga?